Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: #4

Lately, I've felt like a heavy, grey cloud has begun to cast a shadow over me. I have realized that I need to get back to focusing on the positives, and you know, finding the joy in everyday life. To help me with this, I've decided to bring back Thankful Thursdays. I may not do it every week, but that's okay, too. As long as I'm trying to stave off negativity, that's all that matters.

1. My happy boy has returned:

I mentioned before that the past month was harder for me than any other time since Aiden was born. Between teething, growth spurts, and developmental leaps; he was giving me quite a hard time. And it was really wearing me out.

Right now, he's in that sweet spot: between leaps and spurts. His sunny disposition is back, and just in the nick of time. Monday's social media update summed it up perfectly: "I'm having an amazing day with this little guy filled with grins from ear-to-ear, belly-laughs, and giggles. The last month has been *so* hard for me as a mother. It's like he knew just what I needed."

2. Awesome Day Out on Tuesday:

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On Tuesday, Aiden and I ventured out together for over 6 hours. We met up with a neighbor and her son at Hobby Lobby; and then the two of us ventured on our own, finishing off the day having lunch together at Qdoba (he snacked on his toys), HomeGoods, and Trader Joe's.

I wore him in the Ergo everywhere we went, and his little legs hanging out the side brought smiles and coos to many fellow shoppers. He's pretty much the star of the show wherever we end up (humblebrag).

It was one of the longest solo outings I've done with him, and he did SO WELL. I felt empowered, as silly as that may sound.

Previously, when my back was consistently bothering me, I was too scared to hurt myself when I was on my own. And during his very fussy periods, it just seems easier not to go anywhere. Though, I've since decided that I'm going to try and get out even if he's having a bad day, because maybe all he'll need is a change of scenery.

3.) This

4.) This Blooper Picture

Right before we went to lunch, I snapped some pictures of Aiden and I. Most of them didn't turn out (which is to be expected), but this one just made me laugh. A lot. Like mother, like son. Sweet faces, yo.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

7 Months

Sweet boy, you are 7-months-old today and it's blowing my mind. You are smiley, and loving, and giggly, and curious as all-get-out. But most of all, you are GROWING. In every sense of the word.

Part of this growth means you're fighting naps, and lately, bedtime, and you're just giving me a taste of my own medicine I suppose. (Grandma & Grandpa always say I was quite the challenging baby.) I've often not known the cause of your troubles; but in just the last few days, I've noticed that you've gotten a lot taller, longer, bigger, stronger (yeah, it HURTS when you pinch & pull). So, it seems as though another growth spurt is upon us. Admittedly, I haven't been Googling things, or reading up on BabyCenter as frequently, so I'm not anticipating changes as well as when you were a newborn.

Also? You now have 2! bottom front teeth; and it appears as though one of your top front teeth may be coming in, too! Those suckers are sharp, and I try not to keep my fingers anywhere near your mouth. Teething has been another huge source of your discontent. You try to chomp down on anything and everything. I've seen you try to bite the floor on more than one occasion. I'm not happy to admit that a couple of times (like last night), the only way I've gotten you to calm down is to turn on the TV, and let you suck on an ice cube that I've wrapped in a towel. It seems like the motion of the TV distracts you from whatever it is that's making you cry.

That's kind of been the name of my game lately- distraction. You've been so quick to cry in the last few weeks, that I'm always trying to be one step ahead and coming up with ideas to make you stop crying before you've even started. I sing, make weird noises, dance, and generally make a fool of myself; but if it means you aren't thinking about whatever pain you're in, I'm all for it.

We also introduced solids this past month (bananas was the first thing- you were a pro!, otherwise mostly organic oatmeal). I don't give them to you much right now (trying to mainly breastfeed until you're 1), but so far you've enjoyed the experience. You tried cantaloupe a few days ago, and it was your first food in its natural state. You were pretty skeptical at first, but you really liked it in the end. This series of pictures is just the best. That face!

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The 6th month of your life was probably the most challenging so far, but you always managed to make me smile or laugh right when I needed it most. No matter how hard being a parent is, no matter how long the days feel; the months are short, and my heart is so full of love for you. You are the light of our lives, little boy. And that will never change.

1.) Smiley after Wonder Week 26 2.) At Aiden's first wedding (a family friend's) 3.) Wearing his In-N-Out onesie for the first time 4.) Watching one of the many gorgeous sunsets with Daddy 5.) First trip to the zoo - the penguin exhibit 6.) Last Wednesday, when he only napped for 20 minutes in 14 hours 7.) Hangin' out on Daddy's side of the bed 8.) Practicing using a sippy cup. 9.) Smiley after Wonder Week 26

Monday, August 19, 2013

California Dreamin'

Source: Unknown
Tuesday night, we finally booked our trip to Southern California. A 90th Birthday celebration for both of my maternal grandparents had been in the works for months, until a last-minute semi-emergency surgery for my grandpa had to take place. 90% of the left artery in his neck was blocked, and luckily everything went absolutely perfect to repair it.

Because my grandpa lacks the ability to just rest, we had to postpone the party until he fully recovered, so he wouldn't overwork himself in preparation for guests.

But now, it's official! I'll be flying into Long Beach on September 25th, and staying until October 9th. I'm pretty nervous, because I've never flown with a baby before, and we haven't traveled very far since Aiden was 9-weeks-old. My parents are going to be on the same flight as I am, and my mom will be flying back with me and the baby. It'll be nice to have their help, but it's still giving me a bit of anxiety.

Due to work schedules, Zac is flying out later on the 25th, and coming home on October 4th. In fact, he's not only flying a different airline, but he'll be flying into a different airport (LAX)! That's the beauty of Southern California, there are always options. The 4th - 9th will be my first time solo parenting (barring any developments between then and now), and that also seems a bit daunting. I know I can do it, but I just might need a vacation from my vacation at that point.

I shouldn't focus too much of the tiny "negatives," because I'm truly excited for this trip. It'll be the first time my family will meet our little guy; the first time he sees the California Coast that I hold so close to my heart; the first time he gets to feel the love of a large, extended family; the first time sand filters between his tiny toes.

Oh, and In-N-Out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Uncovering My Path

Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for an answer that I don't know the question to.

I constantly feel like I'm searching for something. What's my purpose? I feel like I'm floating in space with nothing to reel me in.

I need something, someone, to point me in the right direction.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recipe: Cucumber Salsa

I absolutely love cucumbers and Southwest flavors; so when I stumbled upon a cucumber salsa recipe, I had to make it. Like, yesterday. I can honestly say that I use every ingredient in this dish on a regular basis, so I knew it'd be a home run.

This is how I made it (as always, I'm an on-the-fly kind of cook, so I never measured. These are all approximations):


3 large English hothouse cucumbers, diced (3-pack from Costco julienned with a mandolin, and then the strips were diced)
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro (I like a lot of cilantro, so keep that in mind)
1/4 bunch chopped parsley
1/2 c low-fat sour cream (I'm going to try it with greek yogurt next time)
1/2 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced (I like a lot of garlic, too)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp ground coriander (can be omitted)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cayenne
Fresh cracked pepper to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp)
Kosher salt to taste (approx. 1/4 tsp)

Yield: About 5 cups of deliciousness

We forgot to grab a jalapeƱo at the store, so I added the chili powder and cayenne for a little bit of kick. You can also add diced tomatoes, if that's your thing. I personally don't like them.

I tossed everything together at one time, no need for separate bowls. Ain't nobody got time for that. The salsa kept beautifully for 2 days in the fridge before it was all gobbled up, and I'm guessing it could've made it another day or 2.

This recipe brought me to tears. No, really! That onion was the most potent one I've ever encountered. But seriously, this is SO good. I'll be making it year-round.

Recipe Adapted From Here